Prices will go down for 2012, ladies
I am (was - just closed my business) a travel agent and I feel your pain! The Airlines and Charter companies are just getting their rates and everything going for 2012 and they always come out crazy high.
That being said, often Group Rates are more than you will find just on expedia and what-have-you. They play off of the perk that everyone gets the same rate, and it won't go up after every few couples that book.
Even being a travel agent, I DID NOT go with a group rate. I could not justify those prices for my group - nor was I going to put deposits down for them. Whenever someone was ready to book, I had a look at all of the different tour operators and what schedules they had - and they picked which one they wanted. Sure, not everyone was on the same plane, but when it saves your geusts $500 each - it really doesn't matter!